Today is Winter Solstice. It marks the end of the period of darkness and the beginning of the period of light. Tonight is the longest night of the year, and tomorrow will see the return of the sun! This makes my husband feel VERY happy (“best news I’ve heard all day!”) and it makes me … a bit sad actually. I quite like the cool and quite of the darkness 🙂
Many people understand the Winter Solstice to be a time of turning inwards, of reflection and rest and self-care. I believe that if you have waited until the solstice to do this, then you’ve left it too late!! The whole period from Autumn to this point is in preparation for this moment, and I sure feel like I’ve been on that journey.
I celebrated my second Priestess Initiation at dusk on Saturday evening. I was surrounded by my friends and mentors who had walked together with me on our journey, my family, and my friends who have supported me on the journey. Thank you for being there for me.
Whenever I mention that I am a Priestess, I then am required to explain what that is … and until now I’ve always been a little stuck for words. Is it witchy, pagan stuff? Not for me (but for some it is). Is it women getting naked and dancing under the moon? Not for me (but the potential is there!). Is it some kind of anti-christian worship? Not for me.
How do you describe something that is so whole in your heart, something that runs in your blood and calls to your imagination? I know many of my family and friends think it is just another one of those strange things that I do … but to me that is stuff that had its place once upon a time but is no longer the social norm. At first I would tentatively dip my toes into the rip that carries you across the tides …. but now I can jump in whole heartedly and not mind a bit what others feel or think, because for me it feels like I am answering a need that cannot be ignored.
My Priestessing is the same thing.
Priestess is someone who lives in connection to the sacred feminine mysteries – the knowledge about womanhood, our bodies, female history and personal development that ALL women should be aware of, no matter what faith you belong to. It is the stuff that used to be passed from grandmother to mother to daughter.
It is celebration and acceptance of the beauty of our bodies with all the awkward bits, all the lumps and bumps.
It is celebration of the cycles of our bodies – of our blood and our emotions, in all its messy and confusing glory.
It is the celebration of the women who have walked and weaved the path before us – who have been brave enough to speak out, to move against the tide.
It is celebration of our connection to the earth and the heavens, the cycles of our natural world.
It is our birth right and so much more.
It doesn’t matter what faith you belong to, learning about your sacred womanhood is your responsibility – to know yourself better, to become the person you were born to be. It doesn’t matter how you do it, the important thing is that you find ways to deepen your connection to the essence of your being.
My responsibility now, as an initiated Handmaiden Priestess is to continue this work in the community, but first and foremost to continue this work with myself. A task I can’t help but continue because it is daily practice now 🙂 Joyful daily practice.
I will write more on this as time goes by because there is so much to say!